RANT // Stop Trying to Impress People With What You’re Shooting On

Because there’s a good chance I can find loads of work shot on a T2i, a hacked GH3 or even an iPhone that’s more impressive, moving or engaging than what you shot on that RED or C300. It’s funny, because personal experience has showed me that many of the people who boast about gear aren’t actually producing work that makes their viewers feel much of anything, or at least captivates them. And too often it’s just plain boring.

Before I go on making myself out to be even more of an arrogant cynic, it’s not my aim to discount the value of higher end cameras like REDs & C300s, and there’s an abundance of exceptional work shot on them. I’ve used them a few times & I’m aware of how advanced & innovative they are, the brand equity they bring, and how not using them or others can prevent us from landing higher paying clients. The RED, for example, is kind of my whipping boy in this post because so many times over the past few years I’ve heard the words “We shot on RED” used as a means of impressing & blowing sunshine up the butts of people who don’t know any better. Too often, it’s the answer to a question nobody asked. It’s flaunted as a badge of honor, or at least a means of validating their project. And this is a prime example of a mindset that’s too prevalent in our industry.

Now to the core of what I’m really saying. Don’t try to impress people with the gear you use. Impress them with the quality of your work. Impress them by making them feel something when they watch it. Impress them with how you structure & tell your story. Or at the very least, spend more time being detail oriented enough to eliminate the sloppy distractions in your work, instead of focusing on how to make your production appear to be more pro than it actually is.

Just focus on the creative first. Once your message & vision for the piece are defined & polished, then move on to the techy crap. But remember kids, oftentimes they really don’t matter as much as you might think. This will be heresy to many, but quite often, it doesn’t matter that you shot on a RED, C300 or F5 instead of a DSLR. Getting caught up in the minutia that comes with the former can be a real waste of time. It also doesn’t matter that you used a knockoff Steadicam and not a MoVi. And in some situations it doesn’t matter that you used a monopod and not a Zacuto shoulder rig complete with a matte box.

You don’t need that stupid matte box. Get over yourself.

People just want to look like pros, even if their work isn’t pro caliber. It annoys the crap out of me. That elitist mentality that sometimes comes with using top notch video gear, when the final product is anything but. It seems like in some circles it’s become an unspoken rule that you need the latest & greatest to produce good work. This is so mindless & shows that their priorities are out of whack. You don’t. You need a good eye, some heart and a creative vision. Like my pal Pablo Picasso once said, “Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.” This is a craft you’re working in, so get crafty instead of talking about your tools all the time.

Rant OVER.

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